God, Guns and Glory

I started this as a Facebook comment early this morning. In a few short hours, I have to be at my desk at the Food Bank. So, I may have to add another post to clarify my thoughts.

Last night, I read an article in the Atlantic about Donald Trump evicting protestors in Vermont, and then, attempting to keep their coats away from them. Twice, he ordered the persons to be subjected to sub-freezing temperatures without their overgarments. The author noted Trump’s abuse of power, power he has achieved through popularity.

Why have most of us failed to predict his dangerous surge and continued popularity with the people of the United States? I think it’s more than middle-class frustration, as the TV commentators seem to suggest. It’s the subverting of US Christianity into a Gods, Guns, and Glory mentality.

Many Christians have been seduced away from the simple Gospel to a belief system of Gods, Guns, And Glory that equates patriotism on the same level as devotion to God. Even Christians can abandon their first love of God and love for neighbors and begin to believe in a message of hatred and violence, believing falsely that bigotry and violence serves the cause of Christ.

In so doing, they begin following hate-filled messengers. Trump, I still believe, has zero chance of being president. But what has he managed to do is blaze a path for a more viable demagogue in the future.

Fear was where I started in the Facebook post today. That’s where many Americans find themselves today. They find themselves quagmired by fear about the future, fear about declining wages, fear about rising medical costs, fear about increasing violence, fear about societal instability. Fear as I noted often leads to hatred.

I don’t see fear as a motivation in the four narratives of Jesus’ life as outlined in the Bible.  He was God on earth, the incarnation of God. If you read closely, he was apolitical. He was non-violent. He personified for us what God looks like.

That’s why I have a hard time identifying myself as a Christian these days. I am not a Christian who supports bigotry, hatred and fear. I suppose I am just a Christ-follower. I want no part of the Gods, Guns, and Glory fervor sweeping through the church today.

11 thoughts on “God, Guns and Glory

  1. This whole Trump phenomenon scares me. I am completely gobsmacked over how any thinking person can’t see how dangerous he is. I hope there are more Christ-followers who do not want him leading this country.

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      1. For what happens when his mouth leads us to chaos look to the followers of the 20th century tyrants in Europe. Their followers deserted them after their countries, their lives, and their futures were destroyed. Of course, many tried to say they never followed this or that leader, but in the end, the masses are fickle.

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  2. I’m no Trump fan, but I hope you realize — as the Atlantic Monthly writer appears not to — that Trump was joking about the coat thing. He runs off at the mouth. You can take it to the bank that nobody was tossed out to freeze to death. There are plenty of reasons to dislike Trump, but this ain’t one of them.

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    1. I assume it was an obvious case of hyperbole. However, as the writer of the article and I know, the mouth speaks what the heart if full of. In his case, his words show a man full of exaggeration that some may categorize as lies, as well as bigotry, xenophobia, and hatred.

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      1. If you have an opportunity, take a look at Ross Douthat’s Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics. The Trump syndrome is writ large there. Some of point too often at Trump, but polls show that American voters (of all parties) support some of his more outrageous remarks. You may be correct — maybe America gets the leaders it deserves. After all, voters chose both Bush and Obama twice.

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      2. I read a few of the reviews of Bad Religion. I think it would be an interesting read about the state of the church today. Maybe we also have the church that we deserve. Thank God for mercy. May God shed his mercy upon us.

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  3. You know what scares me? The state of the church. They are preaching a feel-good gospel, not the gospel Jesus preached. I guess donations are more important than repentance these days.

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  4. I could write volumes. I am in a trial now, but above all that I am a Christ follower. I am reading the New Testament without verses or page breaks. Grateful for that healthy diversion. Keep posting. 😊

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